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Women of Distinction

By Staff | Apr 10, 2018

The Republican Women of Cape Coral Federated celebrated the 2018 Women of Distinction awards last Friday with various dignitaries honoring women leaders of Lee County.

Forty women registered with the Republican Party of Florida were nominated and, among those, 19 were chosen as finalists.

The award ceremony was emceed by Drew Steele, conservative radio talk show host of DayBreak 92.5 Fox News. The keynote address was given by Amira Fox, an assistant state attorney with the 20th Judicial Circuit and a candidate for state attorney. Fox spoke of her and her son’s persevering battle as cancer survivors.

Public servants, candidates and prominent business leaders presented awards to the women honored.

Lisa Barnes, deputy police chief of the Cape Coral Police Department, was named Woman of the Year, presented by Missi Lastra, the president of RWCCF.

Barnes was also presented with the Hometown Hero award by Spencer Roach, candidate for Florida House of Representatives.

Barnes recently graduated from Quantico, the FBI National Academy in Virginia. It was noted that Barnes had left Quantico in September to be in Cape Coral to serve the city during Hurricane Irma.

Among the other award honorees was State Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, who was presented the Woman of Distinction award in Politics by her colleague, Rep. Dane Eagle.

Gina Petraglia-Stoll, a physical therapist with Lee Memorial Health System was presented the Healthcare award by Dr. Omar Clark. Shannon Treece, principal of Babcock Elementary, won the education award, and was also a 2017 Women of Distinction award winner. Jenna Persons, principle attorney of Strayhorn and Persons, won the Woman of Business award, which was presented by business consultant Russ Winstead. Leoma Lovegrove won the Artist award, and Judy Petralavugo, president of the Cape Coral’s Veterans Museum, received the Humanitarian Award.

Also honored at the award ceremony was 92-year old Frances Keogh for the Women of Distinction Lifetime of Leadership Award, presented by Joyce Easton and Jason Maughan.

During her lifetime, she was a leading woman in business and is a published poet and active in Republican politics.

The award ceremony hosted catering by Personal Touch Catering, as well as a silent auction and Diamonds donated by Diamonds Dave, which were raffled through filled Champagne glasses. All funds went toward veteran initiatives of “Caring for America”, as well as a scholarship for women seeking to go back to school.

Also at the event were the FGCU Republican Club, Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman, Cape Coral Chamber member Karen Ramos, as well as Chamber President and CEO Donna Germain, Lee County Clerk of Court Linda Doggett, and former Cape Coral city council member Rana Erbick. The event was as community event to honor Republican women leaders in Lee County.